November 22, 2017

LJ’s New Landmark Libraries

The quest to identify the the most inspiring and innovative public libraries names ten winning public libraries and ten honorable mentions

The New Icons

The Ten New Landmark Libraries
Popular Creek Public Library
Palo Verde Library/
Maryvale Community Center

Cesar Chavez Branch Library
Hamilton Mill Branch Library
Durango Public Library
Sammamish Library
Appaloosa Branch Library
Agave Library
Roseville Library
Anythink Wright Farms

Ten More That Will Inspire

Criteria and Judges

Library Journal is proud to present its inaugural list of New Landmark Libraries. These ten public libraries, plus ten Honorable Mentions, will inspire and inform any building project.

At LJ, after years of covering new library construction and renovations and exploring innovations in design, we realized that librarians could use a master list of the best libraries to study, in person or virtually, for models and insight into coming trends. There are, of course, the libraries that anyone diving into library design will discover right away—reinventions in Seattle and Minneapolis by Rem Koolhaas and Cesar Pelli, respectively; smaller, highly touted projects such as Darien Library, CT, and so many more; and traditional motherships such as New York Public Library’s main. LJ wanted to help librarians discover relatively unknown gems that raise the bar as they respond to trends in green design and shifts in service models. These would be the New Landmark Libraries.

To find them, project coordinator Louise Schaper, retired executive director of Fayetteville Public Library, AR, now with her own consulting practice, pulled together a panel of 16 judges—most librarians, a few architects—to develop criteria and select the first group of New Landmark Libraries, focusing on public libraries opened in the last six years. (LJ plans to name academic New Landmark Libraries next year.)

From a national pool of nominations, the judges chose ten New Landmark Libraries and ten Honorable Mentions. That puts 20 libraries across the country on an itinerary for a virtual or real trek that will fill your notebook with great ideas to adapt as you plan your library of the future.

Enjoy, and tell us what you think! And, join Schaper in a free webcast, “Tour of Four of the New Landmark Libraries,” on June 8; www.­­tourlandmarks.

Louise Schaper About Louise Schaper

Louise Schaper (, retired Executive Director of Fayetteville Public Library, AR, is a Library Consultant and LJ's New Landmark Libraries project lead.

What is Design Thinking?
From space planning, redesigning services and staffing, to developing more user-centric approaches, design thinking can help you problem-solve through ingenuity and creativity, and better understand and serve your patrons. Our introductory online workshop, Demystifying Design Thinking is designed for library professionals who want to take a fresh approach to tackling their library’s challenges through human-centered design.